President Biden is the likely Democratic nominee for the 2024 election, but what if he wasn’t? In a hypothetical universe where President Biden disappeared tomorrow, what would happen? Here’s what regular Americans had to say.
Note: Some quotes in this piece have been lightly edited for grammar.
Next in Line
Many pointed out that the VP is the obvious next-in-line to the presidency. So, if anything happened to Biden tomorrow, Kamala Harris would automatically fill his shoes.
Several commenters assumed that Harris would also run for a full term in 2024. “All Biden supporters would shift to Kamala,” one person said. ” I’m sure there are democrats who like Biden personally, but I feel like most democrats don’t really care whether it’s Biden or Kamala at the high seat; they just don’t want Trump.”
High Stakes Choice
But if Democrats want to keep Trump out of the White House, Harris might not be the best pick. As one commenter said, “I think it would help Trump’s re-election bid. Kamala is less charismatic than Biden, and many Republicans would prefer a moderate like Biden than someone unknown and unpredictable like Kamala.”
If it wasn’t Harris, though, then who? A few users predicted California’s governor, Gavin Newsom. “I do think that’s one reason they’ve been putting Gavin Newsom out in the public eye recently,” one commenter said.
Seeking the Spotlight
It’s true; Newsom is set to debate GOP hopeful Ron DeSantis on November 30th. Many voters find this move strange since Newsom isn’t currently campaigning. As one user said, “I think it’s very interesting that Newsom and DeSantis are set to debate.” They went on to add, “Maybe something is coming.”
“Am I the only Democrat who is not in favor of Newsom as an option,” one commenter asked. The answer turns out to be no. Several other responders said they would not want Newsom to be the Democratic candidate.
What About Whitmer?
“I’d like to see Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in that scenario,” one user said. Whitmer, the current governor of Michigan, is enjoying majority approval.
Ready for a Woman
Many users seconded the idea that Governor Whitmer would jump in as the 2024 Democratic candidate, saying they were ready for a woman to be president. As one poster pointed out, “She’s a strong, younger woman who has done a great job in Michigan.”
Plenty of Choices
Though Whitmer and Newsom are popular amongst Democrats, a few commenters pointed out that there are many choices. “Other possibilities for candidates include Stacey Abrams, Pete Buttigieg, Roy Cooper, Andy Beshear, Raphael Warnock, and Mark Kelly, ” one user noted.
Several commenters thought Buttigieg was a very likely choice. As one user said, “Buttigieg appears to be running for something. It’s just not clear what it is.”
Other people pointed out possibilities with less name recognition. “Dark Horse option?” one user asked. “Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce. He sometimes styles himself as the…liberal billionaire mirror to Trump.”
Another person threw Laura Kelly’s name into the mix. “She’s the Democratic governor of Kansas and has consistently punched above her weight,” they explained. Others were quick to point out that she doesn’t have the national popularity to win a presidential election.
Josh Shapiro was yet another name tossed around by responders. Seen as a recent rising star, Shapiro is certainly gaining national recognition.
Unfortunately, some of that recognition may be for the wrong reasons. Shapiro’s top aide just resigned amid accusations of sexual harassment, and people are questioning how much Shapiro knew about the behavior.
Though it seems like there are many possible choices in this hypothetical world, a few commenters raised concerns. “There are no up-and-coming candidates being nurtured within the party,” one user said. “There are no Dems standing out in the crowd of talking heads.”
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